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Task Force Offers Recommendations to Improve Low Health Literacy

Posted September 6, 2007

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— A task force, created by the N.C. Institute of Medicine, released 14 recommendations Thursday outlining how North Carolina can help people understand the health information they receive.

The recommendations include training for doctors and other providers on the best way to communicate with patients, developing new ways to increasing understanding of complex health information and encouraging patients to ask questions.

The American Medical Association has concluded poor literacy is the best predictor of someone's overall health. Estimates project over 50 percent of adults in North Carolina suffer from low literacy.

According to the study, people with low literacy may have trouble taking prescription drugs properly, understanding their diagnoses or choosing the best insurance plan for their specific needs.


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